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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  April 9, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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>>just refreshing to hear. no other television show does that. we're keeping it real.
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>> florida state attorney angela corey investigating trayvon martin announced a grand jury will not be convened in the case taking first degree murder charges off of the table. but corey made clear she has the authority to initiate charges other than first degree murder on her own. the accused gunman george zimmerman could be arrested this week. an instrumental factor in whatever charges could be brought could be realtime released cell phone records indicating that during zimmerman's 4 minute exchange with a 9-1-1 dispatcher that ended end, he answered a call from his grandfather girlfriend at 7:12 and the line remained open 4 fourteen four minutes before sanford police arrived to find him det. sanford officials shet down the police department after a group
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called the dream defenders gathered to peacefully protest. a neo-nazi group,to protect quote white citizens in the event of a race riot. sergeant david morgenstern told the miami times there have been no reports of any such patrols. as discussions of race patrols found out, when asked whether race played a role in marchtin's death, 80% of black respondents said race did play a role while only 35% of whites felt that way. joining me now is corey dade national correspondents for npr digits news. thank you for joining us this evening. >> thanks for having me. >> first, let's begin with the news of the moment, the absence of a grand jury investigation. what does that mean? how is that being interpreted in terms of any insight into the charges being brought. >> angela corey, the special
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prosecutor in this case made no secret of the fact that she would entertain the idea of deciding whether or not to bring charges on her own without bringing this case to the grand jury. i think what this does now is confirm what she has kind of put out there for starters. but now it puts here? and her investigators on a bit of a time clock to figure out about -- whether or not she will be charged. people i have talked to who are connected with this case fully expect her to bring charges, perhaps as early as this week against zimmerman. >> you know i will give you my almost counter intuitive, their first thought was maybe no charges. i think it increases there will be chances. if she wanted a decision that there not be charges, she would have wanted a buffer of a grand jury to have heard all of the evidence and then basically been pointed towards a no-charge decision. if she is going to bring the charges, then it's easier for her to do it on her own and structure them as she wants so as needed to over charge or
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under charge. we have to remain quiet and see hoy this plays out. but it seems to me as a prosecutor, that may be where she is heading. tell us if you can what dot phone calls mean? what is the interpretation of the simultaneous call from the girlfriend to trayvon and zimmerman being on the phone with 9-1-1? how do we interpret that? >> i think in talking with people connected with the indicates, with trayvon martin's family, with trayvon martin's attorneys, they look at the e quenc of these phone calls -- sequence p whether we are talking about the phone call he made to his girlfriend before the incidents took place or zimmerman's phone call to police to the dispatcher, they look at this as a timeline that it's going to be really important and really material to the investigation, especially because there is not a whole lot of physical evidence that can be certain from the scene. so this is going to be very material. and certainly trayvon martin's family attorneys are looking to establish a whole host of things coming off of that off of those
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calls. >> that's sort of the sequence that is going to be critical here. >> am i off base in saying that the fact that the a 7:12, assuming the clocks are in alignment, electronics stuff if the girlfriend calls trayvon at 7:12, zimmerman is on the phone until 7:14, zimmerman -- and the call with the girlfriend that line is open until 7:16, not clear that he was talking to her all four minutes. it makes it a bit more difficult, does it not, for trayvon martin to have silked and come up on zimmerman during that phone call? none of that makes sense because none of that is overheard on the 9-1-1 tape. and it would conflict with trayvon martin's being on the phone with his girlfriend. >> you sound exactly like trayvon martin's attorneys. >> that's what they would say. i think that is going to be kind of a material issue that investigators are looking at right now. >> all right. certainly, as you pointed out, this is argument based upon a few data points. switch gears here for a moment. >> okay. >> race and the prism through
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which people see this case seems to be so dependent upon the color of one's skin. how do you understand that? i mean does this -- has this case sort of brought to bear brought to light one of the ugly reality did of our nation which is that try as we might have been trying we still have not overcome the issue of race in criminal justice? >> well, you brought up at the beginning of this segment the poll by newsweek and the daily beast. that shouldn't come as a surprise to many people. it reenforces a poll the pugh research center found 43% of whites felt the case was getting too much news coverage compared with only 16% of blacks who felt the same way. >> uh-huh. >> so when you look at it, it also reinenforces sort of the origin of this story, how it went national. it went national as a result of the black press bringing attention to it and a result of african-american journalists, a selected few who work in
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mainstream news organizations who started reporting on this within a week of trayvon martin's shooting. so it's not really a surprise. it's sort of the sensibilities of african americans have dictated sort of the coverage interests between different americans about this. >> and, you know, the clock runs on us unfortunately, but does that to a certain extents also mirror the reality that african americans have a different interaction with law enforcement if you look at the number the african-american teenagers, males in particular who have been stopped and frifblingd by law enforcement as opposed tosked by law enforcement as opposed to white americans? does that play a significant role here in one's intuitive response to a case like this. >> i will take you back to a story, a first person story of my own personal experiences that i wrote writeright after we started kind of covering the trayvon martin case full-bore. it talked about the talk that african-americans give their black teenage males as they come
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of age. it's a series of guides about how to behave in a society in which you will be looked upon with suspicion. you will be looked upon as someone to be feared as someone to be doubted. and it is -- it is a right of passage, that conversation in many black households. so it is also something that a lot of non-african-americans don't really know about. >> yeah. all right, a conversation that inevat this timeably will and should continue over the weeks, months ahead great, thanks cory d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d polar shifts will reverse the earth's gravitational pull and hurtle us all into space. which would render retirement planning unnecessary. but say the sun rises on december 22nd and you still need to retire. td ameritrade's investment consultants can help you build a plan that fits your life. we'll even throw in up to $600 when you open a new account or roll over an old 401(k). so who's in control now, mayans?
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>> still to come matt taibbi why the jobs act is as bad as i think it is. first, let's look through the view finder. >> going up in michigan i've always been an enormous fan of the pittsburgh steelers. >> oh.
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>> >> >> i want to be known as the cat neutering president. >> a dream come true. a green jacket on. >> that's what i am talking about. >> the only place that has ever truly felt like home is right here, east st. louis, illinois. >> another case of today cheapening the journalistic brand of nbc news which runs that show. >> look at the little boys with the little teeny bloomers. >> ann and i don't get to nearly as many cock fights. >> santorum has vowed to
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enforce. >> americans, we can't let that happen. >> let's talk about this i saw on druj i believe now in catalina gas is $7 a gallon. but you can't drive there? >> if i had to develop a chronic disease, i hoped it would be adult onset diabetes. >> i hit him as hard as i could. he hit me as hard as he could. he had more things to hit me with. >> the democrats have invented this phony war on women. >> of course there is that unforgettable opening we all know, oh, so well hey new york let's start the show. >> sometimes, you just can't tell fact from fiction. matt t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
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really? yeah, i'd like that. who are you talking to? uh, it's jake from state farm. sounds like a really good deal. jake from state farm at three in the morning. who is this? it's jake from state farm. what are you wearing jake from state farm? [ jake ] uh... khakis. she sounds hideous. well she's a guy, so... [ male announcer ] another reason more people stay with state farm. get to a better state. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ okay, so who ordered the cereal that can help lower cholesterol and who ordered the yummy cereal? yummy. that's yours. lower cholesterol. lower cholesterol. i'm yummy. lower cholesterol. i got that wrong didn't i?
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[ male announcer ] want great taste? honey nut cheerios. want whole grain oats that can help lower cholesterol? honey nut cheerios. it's a win win. good? [ crunching, sipping ] be happy. be healthy. can i try yours? the chill of peppermint. the rich dark chocolate. york peppermint pattie get the sensation. >> last thursday, president obama seemed the so-called jobs act. i called it the return fraud to wall street act.
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in his roling stone blog, matt taibbi points out not only is the name jump start our business startups act annoying and redidn't ant but it will reinvite a replay of the tech stock bubble of the 90s. a man who will always be famous for one of the famous meta fors as describing goldman sachs, a great vampire squid wrapped around the faces of humanity. great to have you here your articles always spectacular. you have a metaphor here i will get to in a little bit. but first, you have been so critical of this act. tell us what people on wall street said about this act. >> yeah, i had a friend call me up this weekend basically and he didn't even say anything when the phone -- answered the phone. he was just laughing hysterically. basically, the up start -- the upshot of it is people can't believe how far they went in breaking down all of the regulations that were enacted after the collapse of the stock
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bubble in the late '90s. they have gone so far, it almost boggles the mind. >> it seems as though our short-term memory has diminished to absolutely nothing. you hear the president and leaders in washington all the time talking about fairness and enforcements and they pass a law that is effectively repeels half of the meaningful rules that were put in place to prevent another bubble from being inflated. what is their logic? how do this rationalize this? >> it doesn't make any sense at all because really the stockmarket was one of the few markets that wasn't a complete and total disaster and arrive with corruption. it's the one place where america had a relative come peltive advantage because investors around the world know that companies that are on the stockmarket have to conform to some basic regulations and the numbers they submit are at least in the ballpark, a reality. now, all of that goes out the window. now, there is no competitive advantage. >> you gave us the example of this law saying new companies with valuations under a billion
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under revenues won't need to have certified public accounting records to valueidate their claims. what is that and why do they think that will help people raise money? >> it doesn't make sense. the analogy i gave it would be like anouncing all baseball rookies would be exempt from steroid testing for the first five years of their career. sure, you will get a lot of home runs for the first five years but you are going to have a lot of of after the risks in the books later. if they don't pass companies, they are going to flee to other jurisdictions? you don't want a company that is going to commit fraud to come here so they can commit fraud. >> look, when i read the article, that actually was the metaphor. i loved. you said it's like saying for the first five years you don't need to tell us the truth. tell us whatever you want us to believe and the example these days is groupon which was and in the midst of an ipo. its account be has been subject to all sorts of attack. had this been in existence, none of those could have come to light. >> right, it places honest
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company at an active disadvantage because they are trying to conform and make the numbers really add up whereas this other company can make up all of the numbers and go to investors and say here are some numbers we cooked up. you are free to believe them or not. so there is no emphasis now on being honest and actually conforming to the rules. >> look wall street lobbyists worked to repeal the rules. political question: why did the president, who is now running as a populist wisely or not and a democratic party trying to go back to the base and say we are protecting you from the avarice of wall street. why did they pass this almost in the dark of night. >> politically t makes no sense because obama is in a position where he basically has an election that he can't lose. it's his to lose. the only thing could happen is if he makes a mistake. >> that's the only way. here he goes and hands and issue to the republican nominee. basically, an opponent can look
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at this act and say, obama just gave a guy gantic handout to wall street and made a return to the fraudulent days of the late '90s possible again. >> i see such a huge argument that he is going to bring bam some degree of integrity and transparency to the markets and behind the mask of permitting capital formation a bit more rapidly, we exempt companies from the obligation to tell us the truth about their financials. i simply don't see how you square those two arguments. >> sure. it rolls back elements of dodd-frank, roles downtown sarbanes-oxley, important regulations, some of the work you did after the global settlement. all of these things democrats they areoretically have worked for and now it goes out the window. it doesn't make sense. >> i have never seen any real evidence that those rules prevent capital formation despite the rhetoric, the talk from the other side, never seen one piece of evidence that substantiates their view. >> the best excuse they have
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given for why they need to eliminate this independent accounting rule is that it costs too much to hire accountants. are you really going to invest in a company that can't afford to hire an independent accountant? that doesn't make sense. that shows you how dishonest the law is. >> maybe they should have told that to the victims of the mad madoff ponzi scheme. rolling stone contributor, matt taibbi, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you very much eloit. >> my view, a tale of two bankers. >>it is an independent progressive voice and i love that. >>jennifer granholm joins current tv. a former two term governor. >>people like somebody who's got a spine. >>determined to find solutions... >>we need government to ensure that people have freedom. >>driven to find the truth... >>what's really going on? >>fearless, independent and above all, politically direct.
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>> the still unfolding mess may syria and how it could affect the election in 2012. jennifer, what do you have. >> tonight in the war room, there has been great movement in the war against alec the american legislative exchange council, the group that current has been focusing on, passing the anti-worker laws voter suppression laws stand your ground laws. it's a story covering every night in the war room. then we are going to be joined by the president of one of the nation's most influential unions, the cwa about the anti-worker rules and what they are doing to organize workers in other kuntz trees and talking as well about mitt romney the man with no core and the man with more money. i can hardly wait. the war room is next. thanks, eloit. >> he has no core but he has an
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etch-a-sketch. >> but it's worse. it's more insidious than an etch etch-a-sketch. >> i cannot wait but alec, did any more companies drop out? >> the gates foundation dropped. >> all right. unbelievable. >> yeah. >> huge story. i cannot wait to watch. that will be on war room with jennifer coming up. more viewpoint coming up next. i don't just talk about politics, i've lived politics. >>beltway politics from inside the loop. >>bringing you exactly what's happening in politics today by people who know what they're talking about. >>d.c. columnist and four time emmy winner bill press joins current's morning news block. >>i know what i'm talking about and i love it and i try to bring that to the show.
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>> still to come the conflict in syria is festering. what does it mean if anything, for the the elections in november. my view, i will call it the tale of two bankers. what if anything have we learned since the cataclysm of '08. we will begin with john mac took over as ceo of morgan stanley in 2005. he had a great idea. he said let's focus on derivatives and mortgages and let's leverage the bank. >> that's what he did, leverage of 32 to 1, investing deeply, heavily in derivatives and mortgages and he took home a bonus of $40 million in '06, right at the height of the bubble. then of course we know what happened: disasthe have are because his strategy was guaranteed to take us down the road to a cataclysm. what did morgan stanley do? they turned themselves into a bank holding company, technical jargon. why? so we could bail them out.
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they got $107 billion loan from us and $10,000,000,000 in tarp money. what has he learned? when the "new york times" presented an article by greg smith that said wall street was nothing more than a toxic brew? he said why did they even blood pressure that? the last time i checked, we were in this business to make money. you know what, john? there is a difference between making money the right way and cheating your customers. there is a difference between leveraging yourself to the hilt and getting bailed out by taxpayers and, by the way, have you returned that $40 million bonus? i don't think so. but you should. let's go and look at banker bob rommers, the ceo of m and and t in buffalo, new york. bob roamers understanding the banking the old-fashioned way. he knows it's supposed to be boring. you make loans people can repay. here is what he said recently. he said historically, however, the financial system has righted
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itself responsibley in the aftermath of cataclysms. bankers got carried away with their own excitement, their own ingenuity and playing with other people's money. bob romers learned a lesson his bank has survived and prostered. john mac, your bank hasn't. look, i don't play 'bout my facial hair. but if i grow this out a little bit i look too much like an english country gent... naaah. a little this way and i feel like i'm from outer space. this and i feel like a viking... [ roars ] not my style, man. [ male announcer ] master your style... even trimming, a close shave and accurate edging... with the new gillette fusion
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with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better. ♪ ♪ >> efforts to bring a peaceful ending to the prutality in syria took a huge step backwards this weekend with the syrian military being accused of firing across international borders into turkey and lebanon. kofi annon's plans for a cease
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fire scheduled to begin this week seem to be in total disarray. bashar assad continues against his people. what should the u.s. do and will the syrian mess become a factor in our 2012 elections? here to discuss it co author of "bending history" bar barack obama's foreign policy." >> good to be with you. >> is the prospect of a cease fire in syria dead at this point? has assad shown himself to be so duplicitous nothing good is going to happen in that environment any time in the near future? >> i think we know assad is not going to do a deal to try to somehow put his country back on a positive track to show a benevolence or forgiveness. we can rule those possibilities out entirely. the question is: is there a way that he can sort of have his cake and eat it, too? he wants to suppress the
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insurgency. maybe give it some small symbolic role in a future government where he is still president and use all of that to lighten up and lessen the international pressure and sanctions on him. if he can pull off that perfect hat trick, he may do it. but right now i think he believes the insurgency as opposed to international condemnation is his greatest threat. so he is not going to lighten up on the insurgency until he is confident that he has beaten it down. >> that's unfortunately the reality of the situation. >> is our objective in syria right now to supplant and unseat assad or to permit the insurgency and minority communities or majority communities in syria to live without the brutality of assad being brought down upon them? >> i think it's become the second goal. it was the first goal. last summer as all of these arab revolutions were sweeping the region as you know the obama administration declared that assad no longer was a
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legitmat ruler. this was in august, that he should step down, that syria could not function effectively with him. the hopes that hillary clinton and john kerri and others had had a few months before that somehow he could be a reformist, at least to a certain degree had been totally disapproveproven and we hoped the tied that swept away others could sweep away him and what was going on regionally would almost carry him off and help us in that endeavor. but by 2012, we sort of have come back to earth. we realized the insurgency is not strong enough to do this. we are not interested in doing it. as a military operation, syria is more complex and trying to help the insurgency get stronger is probably going to risk chaos, risk turning syria into something like iraq of '04, '05, '06 if we are successful. that could be what victory looks like. a country in full-fledged civil
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war. so i think we have backed off in our goals and now we are hoping for any kind of symbolic effort biasad and hopefully a little more than symbolic. he has to obviously stop the violence and he has to allow some greater participation for other groups but we would tolerate assad staying as president, i believe. >> so it sounds like there has been a dramatic shift in the trajectory. you are right: last year overwhelming pressure in egypt and libya to sup plant and unseat tyrannical rulers. now we seem to acsellcept the ruler who was just as bad as gadaffi and equally ty irancal as mubarak has been but we seem willing to accept his remaining there as a tyranical liter as long as he does not shoot his people on sight. >> yeah. i think that's not a bad summary and what's even worse is that i don't even degree with that as our goal because i don't see how we can do any better. our nation is tired of war we
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have 90,000 troops in afghanistan. president obama said he is not going to rush it. general allen when he was here two weeks ago for testimony underscored there will be no radical draw downtown this year. we still have iran in our hor eyesons and our radar scopes and a trillion dollar deficit. i don't think the country is willing to do what would truly be needed to unseat assad which, unfortunately, is something like the iraq operation. i don't think there is any guarantee. >> let me ask you, then: will that taint the rather affirmative story that president obama has been able to tell thus far about his foreign policy with bin laden gone with theoretically the afghan war coming to an end, however one defines that, iraq war over and libya and egypt being viewed until recently as stories of reform? will this begin to look somewhat
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different if egypt goes in a bad direction in the and libya dessends into chaos and assad still there, will the president be playing defense on foreign policy not offense? >> it's a great question. and, you know, i think the president does have some challenges in these countries. our book "bending history" is fairly complementary of how he has handled most of the acute challenges to his presidency most of the acute challenges to tower country's security. there have been a number of failures or frustrations in this his foreign policy but these problems in the middle east and iran probably at the top of the list could certainly go in a negative direction between now and election day. and so yes, his effort to say that foreign policy has been a strong suit could be to some extent threatened by the course of the headline news. i still think he's done a pretty good job. and i think progress in a number of places including against al-qaeda al-qaeda against in iran and afghanistan, including in east asia has been pretty
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impressive on 3w58 answer and i also hope that egypt will actually muddle through. bal answer and i also hope that egypt will actually muddle through. it may not be something we love but if egypt goes in an okay direction, to some extents that dwarfs what happens inside of libya in terms of the relative importance of those two currents trees. there is no doubt that syria is a wild card and it could hurt this president's overall foreign policy credentials come election day depending upon what happens. >> the narrative remains to be written because there are so many uncertainties between now and november. he elections, possibility for assad to continue his reign of terror on his public and so these things remain to be seen but as you point out, so far at least, an affirmative story and he has navigated through the shoals with incredible success and taken away foreign policies. senior fellow co-author of "bending history," michael o'hanlon, thank you for your time. >> my pleas ire. >> that's "viewpoint."
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